Even though we’re still in the midst of the title battle for Germany’s 2011 DTM series, preparations for the 2012 season kick-off in earnest from next week. First off Mercedes, who today have given us a sneak preview of their 2012 DTM C-Coupé, courtesy of driver Gary Paffett.
Then next week, all three manufacturers will descend on Germany’s Lausitzring for the first test programme – as each gets a feel for their brand new cars, Mercedes with its C-Coupé, Audi with its RS5 and newbies BMW with their M3.
2012 DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé
With the Frankfurt Motor Show also beginning next week, MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula One drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will unveil the new DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé at midday on Tuesday 13 September.
Norbert Haug said at a press conference today, “This new-generation vehicle, based on our Mercedes-Benz C- Coupé, will mark the introduction of an even more spectacular racing car from the start of 2012. I am certain that the spectators will get their money’s worth from the three-way fight between Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the DTM next year.”
Take a look at Gary Paffett in the video below, as he explains the key differences between the 2012 DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé and the current DTM AMG Mercedes C-Class.
At the press conference this morning Gary said, “I was at the film and photo shoot for the new AMG Mercedes C-Coupé recently and was seriously impressed by my ‘company car’ for next season. I can’t wait to begin testing very soon.”
BMW M3 DTM
Meanwhile in Munich, BMW Motorsport were preparing their drivers for the big test next week. On Monday and Tuesday BMW Motorsport will, for the first time, take to the track with the two other manufacturers represented in the DTM in 2012. As well as Andy Priaulx (GB) and Augusto Farfus (BR), BMW works drivers Jörg Müller (DE) and Dirk Müller (DE) will also be given their first chance to test the BMW M3 DTM.
“At the Lausitzring we will be intensifying our test programme with what are now three BMW M3 DTM cars. We hope we can make good progress again, just as we did at the previous tests,” says BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.
“We are obviously also looking forward to meeting our direct rivals. However, it is too early to class it as a first test of strength. The preparation time with the new cars has been too short for that. It will, however, be interesting to watch all the cars on the track and see how the times develop. We are also looking forward to getting feedback from Jörg and Dirk, who will be gaining their first experience with our DTM car.”
The new technical regulations for 2012 mean that all three manufacturers will be competing in the DTM with completely newly developed cars. As Paffet explains in the video, certain components will be standardised across all competitors including the rear wing. It is hoped this will ensure close racing throughout the season and also take one less variable off the table for newcomer BMW.